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Fighting Hate with Words and Music

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Global indie artists band together to produce a benefit album in support of the Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate movement

In the wake of the recent spike in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders due to disinformation and racism around Covid-19, a group of artists from the US and other parts of the world collaborated and produced a 14-track benefit compilation album to raise funds and awareness for the Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate movement.

The album, entitled Stop AAPI Hate: The Benefit Album, is a unique project that combines songs, soundscapes, and spoken word pieces directly addressing the crisis. All the speeches were actually taken from actual protest actions all over the country after the brutal and deadly attacks against the AAPI community across the United States.

Music and spoken word have been in the center of protest actions since people started fighting for equality and justice. These are powerful tools to raise awareness to social issues, generate funds to support the community organizations, and effect change.

The creative vision for this project is to bring the protest experience into a concept album format, complete with speeches, ambient sounds, and songs. So when the album is played the audience is immediately transported into that space.

The limited CD version of the album is available to purchase HERE and it can also be streamed on all major streaming platforms. Listen on Spotify below:

The Artists

Atoms Apart - Fault Lines

Atoms Apart are Mike and Emil Favila, two Filipino brothers separated by an ocean, making music together. Currently living in Brussels and Virginia, they write, perform, record and produce all their own songs, in addition to session and production work for various artists on the East Coast.

Dr. Calvin Sun - (Spoken Word) Speech at the Stop AAPI Hate Rally, March 21, 2021, Chinatown, New York.

Dr. Calvin D. Sun is an Attending Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine, a public speaker, phoblogopher, activist, choreographer, and entrepreneur based in NYC. He practices as an attending physician at multiple underserved emergency departments and large-scale events around the country. He is also a well-known Asian American Pacific Islander rights activists and active member of White Coats Against Asian Hate.

Ciudad - The Circuit Has Been Closed

Ciudad is a Filipino band formed in 1994. They gained a considerable following with their fresh sound: catchy melodies framed by schoolboy rock, pop, and punk. They went on to release six albums, and was soon recognized as one of the best and most distinctive indie-rock acts in the Philippines. Their most recent double-album, "Ciudad Forever Vol. 1 & 2," celebrates 25 years of the band with their latest material.

Happy Dad - Why Hurt?

Happy Dad is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Manila. His music is composed of sweet and sappy love songs but with dark and moody undertones. The groovy bass lines, steady drum beats and relaxed vocals lies contradict Happy Dad's somber and introspective lyrics. With all of Happy Dad's reflections, he always ends up as simply the boy who's in love with his girl. This is this generation's definition of dad rock.

Josh Bonifas - Cobblestone Dreams

Josh Bonifas is a bassist, educator, and composer based in the Greater Boston area. He is currently a full-time student at Bunker Hill College in Boston, MA with a focus on Music Education. Additionally, Josh has studied at the Berklee College of Music Bass & Percussion Groove School, and Arlington based Morningside Music Studio.

Growing up a lover of all things music, he began playing the bass at the age of 14. Josh has performed in many diverse ensembles ranging from Jazz, Motown, Funk, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Punk Rock, and Improvisational music. Joshua currently plays in the Bunker Hill jazz band and is the bassist for Saturday Evening Grooves at the Chagall Performing Arts Collective in Salem, Massachusetts.

Kanako Omae Neale - 2 Ways (Featuring Joe Trainor)

On September 9th, 2001, then 16-year-old Kanako found a new place to call home in Brooklyn, New York. A native of Tokyo, Japan, urban life was nothing new for this drummer/songwriter. Two days later, the tragic events of 9/11 unfurled, and suddenly cast Kanako as a stranger in an even stranger and chaotic land. Since then, Kanako, like many others, has learned to adjust to these unpredictable times and proceeded to carry out the goals she has set forth for herself in coming to the United States to compose and perform her music.

At three years old, Kanako began her musical passage. Through piano instruction and eventually flute lessons, she has evolved as a well rounded composition writer, arranger, and performer of her own original works. While still in high school, Kanako developed a passion for percussion and when she was 16, she decided to leave Japan for a musical career in New York City - the city of Entertainment.

Klub Kuryente - Dig Your Roots

Klub Kuryente is an Ethno-tronic music producer who combines traditional Asian indigenous instruments with vintage and modern electronic gear. The result is a unique soundscape that evokes both the old and new worlds of dance and ambience. He is currently working on his debut EP.

Dr. Michelle Lee, MD. - White Coats Against Asian Hate - Speech

Michelle Lee is a born-and-raised New Yorker who graduated from Cornell Medical School. She is currently a resident physician in Manhattan. Michelle has written about New York City and Asian American and Pacific Islander community issues, especially during coronavirus, for New York Magazine, Zagat, Eater, Life & Thyme, Infatuation, Salon News, and Civil Eats. She has given podcasts on "Doctors Sharing Experiences Working During COVID", "NYC's Koreatown", and "The Best Cookies in NY".


Dr. Lee also works as a medical writer and editor. She is a former editor-in-chief of Cornell's Journal of Humanities in Medicine. She authored a 70-page book on spine health distributed by Belvoir Media. Her brain research and writing has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Neurology. She also published about her experiences as a first-year doctor treating COVID-19 patients. She also spoke to East Side Stories encouraging COVID vaccination and the barriers the elderly and immigrants often face.

After the fatal Atlanta shootings including six Asian women, Dr. Lee spoke as a community activist at the largest peaceful NYC AAPI rally in Manhattan's Chinatown on 3/21/2021, attended by over 3,000 community members. She spoke on the same stage as Andrew Yang, Senator Chuck Schumer, and BLM activist Nupol Kiazolu. She rallied over 100 NYC healthcare workers to form the first White Coat Frontline in support of the AAPI community. She has been interviewed & covered by NBC News, ABC, Associated Press, Voice of America, Washington Post, US and World Report News, LA Times, Yahoo News, Sacramento Bee, Post Star, Local 10, My North West, Tennessean, ABC Channel 7 News, NowThis News, Gothamist, East Side Stories, New York Presbyterian Health Matters. She is covered as an AAPI activist in videos by Now This News and Associated Press. She was referenced by NPR and Associated Press as a Manhattan radiologist who believes "racism is a public health issue” during escalating anti-Asian hate during COVID.

*Bio taken from Dr. Lee's website

Oranicha (Natty) Jumreornvong - White Coats Against Asian Hate - Speech

Oranicha (Natty) Jumreornvong graduated from Stanford University, where she was named Public Service Scholar. She is currently a medical student and early assurance Flexmed Scholar at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her interest is in technology, rehabilitation, medical education and diversity. She co-founded a company that implemented EHR system for hospitals and mobile clinics in South East Asia, advised for Thailand’s first assistive technology curriculum for STEM universities, and disability empowerment act. She received funding from Abilities Research Center to run clinical trials for health technology companies. She assisted the deployment of Precision Recovery, a remote patient monitoring program, for COVID-19 patients across 5 Mount Sinai affiliated hospitals. She led the PPE international donation efforts to NYC hospitals, co-authored COVID-19 disability guidelines, and conducted COVID-19 research. She was also appointed the national coordinator and regional director of Social Impact 360. She is the president of the PM&R interest group at Mount Sinai and former president of the Huntington Disease’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford. As a Thai queer immigrant woman and the Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Representative for the American Association of Physiatrists’ Medical Student Council, she is passionate about diversity research, curriculum development, and mentorship of LGBTQIA+ students, minorities, students with disabilities, women, and international students. She is also an opinion writer for New York Daily News and a recipient of the Social Innovator Award from the Princess of Thailand.

*Bio taken from F-1 Doctors site

Peter Cho - We Saw it on TV That Day

Native to Los Angeles, Peter Cho is a guitarist with influences in rock, jazz, bluegrass, and classical music. He received his Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Performance at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his Master’s in Studio Jazz Guitar at USC. From 2017-2019, Peter resided in New York City, playing with Mike Davis and the New Wonders and for the musical, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.

Back in Los Angeles, Peter plays in a variety of settings: instrumental rock trio (Peter Cho Band), trad jazz and bluegrass duo (with Katie Cavera - Disneyland), and solo classical/finger-style guitar.

In June 2014 the Peter Cho Band EP was released. The Peter Cho Band is now in the process of writing a new full-length album.Peter also does recording sessions (guitar, banjo, and mandolin) and teaches online.

Prize Violet - Line Dance

Binky Veloria, also known as Prize Violet, is an independent musician, singer, songwriter and producer. Her music incorporates elements of multifarious styles and genres including pop, OPM, art pop, rock and roll, hip hop, and R&B.

Born and raised in Jersey City to Filipino immigrant parents, she has played in multiple bands. She is currently writing and recording at home in NJ.

Ragan Martinez - Abandoned Save Fountain

Ragan Martinez is a guitarist from Sydney, Australia. He uses pedals and a loop machine to create sonic atmospheres that evoke influences of ambient music, post rock and video game soundtracks.

Raincrowd - Can’t We Just Get Along?

New Jersey-based indie rock band Raincrowd, takes its roots from the 90s music scene in Manila. Their songs have been published by Virgin Records, OctoArts Music, EMI, PolyEast Records, and MCA Universal Records and are characterized by melodic chord progressions, vocals, steady beats, and harp guitar solos.

Scarlet Gum - Time to Rise

Scarlet Gum are an American electronic pop duo formed in Jersey City, New Jersey. The band consists of vocalist-guitarist Sheryl Reyes and electronic music producer Ted Reyes.

Established during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the duo started casually streaming live performances from their Jersey City apartment on Facebook and Instagram. Their repertoire mainly consisted cover songs and some originals from their previous groups.

Telecommute - Julie Anne

Telecommute is André Laurena's new group after The Freesouls disbanded in 2000. Their album One Way Mirror was released in 2017 and it contained some songs written during his Freesouls years, including: Tao and Field Trip. André is based in Manila and is also active in several other music projects, including Dr. Nikolai, the group he has with another former Freesouls member, Jeff Antiporda.

The Burning Diamonds - Isn’t All About Me

The Burning Diamonds is a labor of love pet project of an assorted group of friends and fellow creators.

The Burning Diamonds come in different shapes sizes and many varied colors.

The Burning Diamonds are rough stones found in unexpected places.

The Burning Diamonds are the same carbon as you and I and were just put under the intense heat and pressure.

The Burning Diamonds exist only in a vacuum where they are heated until they glow bright crimson and ignite.

The Burning Diamonds long to be the dark solitary eye-nerve watcher of the world's whirling diamond.

The Burning Diamonds like to believe anything can happen: through this belief, we shine.

Album Credits

Executive Producer: Ted Reyes for NSFU

Mastering by Nick Bolton at Holy Tapes, Jersey City, NJ

Photography and Art Direction: Sheryl Reyes

All songs are owned by the respective artists and composers.

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